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The Katie Tyson Fund for Youth and Young Adult Ministry

The Katie Tyson Fund for Youth and Young Adult Ministries is dedicated to kindling the sparks of leadership among Unitarian Universalist (UU) youth and young adults. The fund supports scholarships, grants, and programs for youth and young adult projects, conferences, outreach, and more. With the support of the Katie Tyson Fund, emerging leaders will be empowered to live out their dreams, weave our Unitarian Universalist principles into the fabric of their expanding lives, and encourage others to do the same.

Katie Tyson was an active member in the young adult group at Arlington Street Church in Boston, MA and a rising leader in our movement. Katie was filled with enthusiasm, passion, and excitement, and had aspirations of becoming a Unitarian Universalist minister. Sadly, Katie's life ended in a car accident when she and her friend were returning from General Assembly in Salt Lake City, UT, in 2009.

Katie’s parents, Karen and Herb Tyson, had a vision for UU youth and young adults to be able to explore the same dreams and interests that Katie had. With the support of the Mt. Vernon Unitarian Church in Alexandria, VA, the Joseph Priestley District, and other generous donors, Karen and Herb Tyson established the Katie Tyson Fund for Youth and Young Adult Ministries.

Available Grants

Potential grant uses include but are not limited to:

  • Scholarships for participating in district and national events, receiving leadership training, and attending General Assembly.
  • Training for youth and young adults to exercise leadership in ministry.
  • Project and event grants that support youth and young adults in deepening and developing connections with Unitarian Universalism and spreading our movement.
  • Youth and young adult ministry project grants for Unitarian Universalist activities, conferences, outreach, and group start-up projects.
  • Public event grants to support the offering of large public programs, such as lectures or workshops of interest to youth or young adults, with the goal of increasing awareness of and interest in Unitarian Universalism.

Recipients of grants may include individuals, congregations, or districts. Distributions cannot be used for the salaries of professional staff.

Criteria for Evaluation

  • Potential impact of grant on leadership among Unitarian Universalist youth and young adults;
  • Thoroughness of project plan, if applicable;
  • Accountability of program to historically marginalized groups and/or applicability of program to the UUA’s goals for multicultural and multigenerational religious communities;
  • Membership and involvement of the benefiting youth or young adults in their congregation.

Grant Application Deadlines

Grant applications are reviewed twice per year. Application deadlines are April 1 and October 1. Applicants will be notified of the status of their grant within one month of the application deadline. Grant applications received after the deadline will be deferred to the next grant cycle.

View the application form (PDF, 4 pages)

If you have any questions, or would like to discuss a potential grant application, please contact the Youth and Young Adult Ministries Director at yayadirector [at] uua [dot] org or (617) 948-4359.


You can donate to this fund by mailing a check, calling us, or giving a gift of stock.

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